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Rabbi Brings Fun And Games For Briarcliff Hanukkah

Rabbi Dovid Labkowski and son Menachem, 8, make candles at Chabad at Briarcliff's "Dreidel Island" in Ossining.
Rabbi Dovid Labkowski and son Menachem, 8, make candles at Chabad at Briarcliff's "Dreidel Island" in Ossining. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Dovid Labkowski is making sure Briarcliff Manor and Ossining residents have a fun place to celebrate Hanukkah.

Sunday, the Briarcliff Manor rabbi and director of Chabad of Briarcliff and Ossining opened a new shop and children activity center called Dreidel Island at 27 Pleasantville Road in Ossining.

Through a majority of the year, Labkowski leads a synagogue at 11 Orchard Road in Briarcliff Manor. But, for the second year, and only until Dec. 9, Labkowski opens Dreidel Island to introduce fun activities to Jewish residents in Briarcliff Manor and Ossining. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Dec. 8.

Dreidel Island is a part of Chabad-Lubavitch, a nationwide Jewish outreach organization.

“Instead of staying in our own homes, we go out and find other Jewish people who don’t celebrate Judaism and help them celebrate,” Labkowski said. “The whole idea is to reach out and make it fun for the kids and make it a fun holiday for Jewish people in Briarcliff and Ossining.”

The shop features games like Ping-Pong dreidel, a Hanukkah dance machine, a velcro dreidel dart game and dozens of games and crafts. The festivities at the shop conclude with balloon menorah-making with Scott Kazan from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Sunday also features the Congregation Sons of Israel ’s Chanukah Tzedakah Fair from 10:30 a.m. to noon at CSI at 1666 Pleasantville Road in Briarcliff Manor. The day is set to feature carnival-like games to help raise funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“As (what) frequently happens, once a story is no longer front page news, people presume that there is no longer a need,” said CSI Director Ellen Johnson. “We all know that those affected by the storm have yet to put it all behind them, so we are actively helping.”

CSI Rabbi Steven Kane said he was pleased that Hanukkah was celebrated so much in Briarcliff Manor.

“It’s really nice that the village has a significant holiday celebration for this most wonderful time of year and that Hanukkah is embraced in this community,” he said. “For the congregation, since so many people identify with Hanukkah, I think it’s a very happy time in the community and something that is shared in the synagogue and in homes.”

For more information on Chabad Of Briarcliff and Ossining , residents are asked to visit Dreidel Island or the group’s website . For more information on Hanukkah events at CSI, residents are asked to visit CSI’s website .

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